I will soon be deploying 16 Mid2011 Mac Mini's to my users at work, replacing their aging home built PC's. I have a MAK volume licensing key for win7pro to be used with Boot Camp for the macs and this will be their primary OS.

I am basically looking to see if what I think I should do will work, and then some feedback for other ideas.

I figured the best way to do this would be to create one perfect Mac Mini that the image will be based off of.. This would include, running all Mac OS Updates, create USB key with Windows 7 Pro and the applicable Boot Camp drivers for the Mid2011 Mac Mini's, install Windows 7/Office and run all updates and then install all the specific software for my company. Then once everything is set up how I want it, I can use my thunderbolt cable to my iMac and make a Carbon Copy Clone of that Mac Mini's entire root hard drive while booted in Target Disk Mode. Once complete, hook up each Mac Mini that I want to image to my iMac and then restore the image I just created from the "base" Mac Mini to each of them.

Before I create the original image I think there is a mode I can put Windows 7 in that will make it act like it's never been set up (much like removing .AppleSetupDone from a Mac to force it to act like it does after a fresh install) This would allow me to give each machine a unique name, activate Windows, join the domain, etc.. Anybody out there know how to do this?

Anyone out there with experience doing something like this Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Well, no; my real question is if I will have issues with Boot Camp trying to do it this way being I won't be creating the Boot Camp partition in Mac OS or "installing" Windows, just copying the files. And as far as the Windows licensing, I have a volume license key for rhe machines so they won't conflict. I am using Mac minis because of the quality and size of the hardware and because I'm still certified to work on them from being a prior Mac Genius.

  • This is really a Windows 7 query. You seem to have the Mac part in hand. – macaco Aug 10 '11 at 13:20
  • If Windows is the primary OS, why would you buy Mac minis? There are small Dell computers for that purpose? – Patrick Aug 10 '11 at 14:01
  • @Mattew please register your account at Ask Different and use the same OpenID to register an account over here at Super User once done, you'll regain ownership of the question – Sathyajith Bhat Aug 10 '11 at 16:08

Ideally, there are a bunch of software solutions that are meant to perform these exact actions correctly.

The problem by using a "hack" to get this done is that, 1. your Windows licences won't really line up as they are per-machine. So, although you're not breaking the law in any way, you're still not licensing the correctly. 2. Your Windows system (and MAC for that matter) will all have conflicting Network Computer Names (same as the original machine you're imaging from), which will force you to log in locally, change the machine name, and then manually add them to the domain.

Personally I'd recommend using Symantec Ghost or a similar software suite to take care of the imagining. This will, in addition, make it alot faster in case you have to "emergency recover" a failed machine.

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